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Police: Loaded gun tossed near Kensington school was stolen

Union Leader Correspondent

April 18. 2017 8:30PM
Derron Johnson 

KENSINGTON — Police have learned that a loaded shotgun tossed out near Kensington Elementary School by a homeless man suspected of attempting to break into the school before allegedly burglarizing another school in South Hampton last week was stolen from a residence in Massachusetts.

Kensington Police Chief Scott Sanders said Derron Johnson, 42, is believed to have taken the gun during a break-in in Southwick, Mass., and then discarded it along the side of Trundlebed Lane.

According to Sanders, Johnson admitted to police that he planned to burglarize the Kensington school on the night of April 13 but got spooked when he discovered that a custodian was still inside.

He then allegedly took off and dumped the gun about 200 yards from the school.

Sanders said the only reason the custodian at the Kensington School was still working that night was because she was painting chick and bunny feet on the floors for students to discover in the morning.

The shotgun was found by the town’s animal control officer a short time later.

“The potential harm to the community was catastrophic. We’re really thankful that somebody saw it so quickly and we were able to get it off the street. It was a good stroke of luck on our part,” Sanders said.

Kensington police are working with authorities in Southwick on the stolen gun case.

Sanders said his department will likely file charges related to the gun and alleged burglary attempt at the school.

Meanwhile, South Hampton police have issued arrest warrants for Johnson related to the alleged burglary of the Barnard School.

South Hampton police Sgt. Eric Vichill said his department is charging Johnson with burglary, theft by unauthorized taking, resisting arrest and detention and disorderly conduct.

Police said it appears Johnson left Kensington Elementary and then drove to Barnard School where he allegedly broke a window with a rock and stole musical instruments, equipment and supplies from a music and art room.

Johnson had a run-in with custodian Stan Benosky at the school, who told the New Hampshire Union Leader that he heard a loud noise and came into contact with the burglary suspect later identified by police as Johnson.

According to Benosky, Johnson told him that he was a music teacher, but he knew that wasn’t true.

Johnson allegedly fled in a pickup truck when police arrived. Police in Amesbury, Mass., pursued the truck, which crashed in Merrimac, Mass.

Johnson remains held in Massachusetts on charges from Amesbury. He’s expected to be returned to New Hampshire to face charges once the Massachusetts case is resolved.

Crime Public Safety Kensington South Hampton

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